Sisters boys basketball moved to the 3A classification this year. The significant change is getting them closer to big dreams.
Thursday night, Sisterzs took on La Pine in a win-or-go-home scenario, trying to clinch a spot in the state playoffs.
“I think the mindset of going in tonight is not to expect anything,” said Sisters senior Adam Maddox-Castle before the game. “Just to keep our level head and come in the same way we always have. Super strong.”
Sisters coach Chad Rush says the team never felt big enough to be at the 4A level.
“You know, we’d walk in the gym and we wouldn’t look like those teams and they looked like they were junior college teams compared to our scrawny little, you know, small guys,” said Rush. “The move, I mean, there are some great teams at 3A just like there was at 4A, but the move is that we look a lot more like teams.”
Sisters joined the Mountain Valley Conference with La Pine.
The Outlaws beat the Hawks twice this year, but those first two games didn’t have the pressure like this one.
“So this is, you know, a win or go home type game, and so that’s what we did Monday doesn’t matter,” Rush said. “Yeah. So we got to perform today.”
“Those games were important, but coming into it now, those games don’t matter,” said La Pine senior Ian Barker before the game. “You know, both teams are forgetting about that game, and it’s just this game. Win or lose.”
While a new classification gave Sisters new playoff hopes, La Pine was ready to rewrite a new story for their own program.
“It’s kind of a big deal for us,” said Barker. “Our team hasn’t been in this position in quite some time, so we want to come out and show people that we belong here.”
It was a clean sweep for Sisters as the Outlaws took an early 19-6 lead to start the game and never looked back, clinching a state playoff spot.
“We’re all super excited because it’s the first time we’ve went to the playoffs in probably like five years,” said Sisters sophomore Kale Gardner after the game. “So we’re all just super excited to have a chance to.”
Sisters defeated La Pine 65-53.
The Outlaws play in a seeding league playoff game on Saturday at Pleasant Hill to decide league ranking and their state playoff opponent.